City golf tourney gets under way

All four defending champions will be in action this weekend at the 34th annual Messenger city golf tournament, sponsored by Fort Dodge Ford Lincoln Toyota.

The event begins on the men’s side with a 7:30 a.m. shotgun start Saturday morning at the Fort Dodge Country Club. The women are at Lakeside Golf Course, with incremental tee times beginning at 9 a.m.

Phil Ruth (men’s open), Terry Miller (men’s senior), Kelsey Faiferlick (women’s open) and Peg Christensen (women’s senior) will attempt to turn in encore performances after prevailing a year ago. Nearly 200 golfers will be participating in the four brackets today and tomorrow.

Ruth posted a two-stroke victory over 2005 city champ Ryan Kinseth last summer at two-over par 180. Miller earned his third senior crown in four years and had the low overall score in the tournament at two-under 176.

Faiferlick made it three titles in a row by carding her best 36-hole total by 12 strokes at 150 in 2013. The St. Edmond graduate prevailed by a whopping 28 shots.

Christensen captured her first senior trophy with a two-day total of 161. She is expected to be pushed this time around by five-time champ Diane Blomker, who is back in the field after missing the event a year ago.

Tee times will reverse on Sunday for the men; the 7:30 a.m. participants today will go off at 12:30 p.m. tomorrow and vice versa. The championship nine is expected to tee off around 6:30 p.m. on Sunday evening at Lakeside.

Temperatures are expected to be around 80 both days, with a 50 percent chance of rain throughout the day on Saturday.

The Country Club is a par-71 layout. Lakeside is a par-72.